Summer is just about here, which means it’s time to fire up the grill that has been gathering dust all winter. There is just something about grilling outside in the summer that not only makes the food taste better, but brings people together. And while grilling burgers and dogs is an infallible standby, so many other common – and sometimes unexpected – foods are great grill options. So in honor of the beginning of grilling season, here are a few suggestions that would be great for any occasion, from a weeknight dinner to a 4th of July gathering.
Grilling a pizza is essentially the same as creating one in your oven. Make your own dough (you can use store bought dough or flatbread) and roll it into the desired shape. Using tongs, place your pizza on the grill. Within a minute, your dough will puff slightly and grill marks will appear. Use the tons to flip your dough over and brush it with olive oil. Top the pizza with your desired toppings and allow to cook 6-8 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly. Check the crust often to make sure it does not burn. Remove pizza from grill and top with fresh herbs.
Almost all vegetables are great on the grill. Try grilling whole ears of corn, or grab a grill wok ($10 or less at grocery and home good stores) and pile in fresh asparagus, zucchini, onions or any other vegetable you like. You can also use your grill wok to create “one pot” meals: throw some Asian veggies and shrimp into your grill wok, grill away and then top with your favorite sauce.
Grilled fruit is another great summertime option. Pick your favorites, like apples, pineapples or my personal favorites, peaches and bananas. Slice the fruit in half, or cut them up into pieces and place on skewers. Soak the cut fruit in cold water with a teaspoon of lemon juice for 20-30 minutes. This will help the fruit stay juicy and retain it’s color. When you’re ready to grill, brush the grill with oil or butter, being careful to choose something mild that won’t overpower the fruit. Once you’ve mastered the basic technique, you can get creative and soak your fruit in liquor, rub it with spices or sweeten it with brown sugar (which works extremely well on bananas).